Although the Ford F-150 Lightning was only announced in 2021, and the first trucks were delivered last year, Ford has made no secret that it's already working on the next generation. Unlike the current F-150 Lightning, built on the same technical architecture as its ICE brother, Ford's second electric pickup truck will have its dedicated platform. This is in development with the goal to optimize production and make the next-generation Lightning a lot more efficient.
Following Tesla's model, Ford also started building an EV-exclusive factory for the upcoming pickup. The new manufacturing facility is located in West Tennessee, and Ford named it BlueOval City. When it will begin operations in 2025, it will be able to produce up to 500,000 electric trucks a year. The new factory is instrumental to Ford's EV program and key to its plans to revolutionize the pickup truck. Ford CEO Jim Farley explained that the BlueOval City aims to become "the modern-day equivalent of Henry Ford's Rouge factory."
Farley described the next-generation electric pickup as "like the Millennium Falcon – with a back porch attached," a nod to the Star Wars universe. Project T3, as it was named internally, is developed to change how we operate vehicles in the digital age. T3 comes from "Trust the Truck," a code name that stuck after the development team made it their rallying cry.
Ford officially revealed it's working on an EV-dedicated platform for its future trucks last August. At the same time, Ford unveiled plans to build not only the successor to the F-150 Lightning on the new platform but also a second pickup truck. This has been speculated to be the electric Ranger, while an electric Bronco is also in the cards to launch on the same TE1 technical platform.
It's unclear whether Project T3 refers to the F-150 Lightning II, the electric Ranger, or both, but a new video shared by Ford on X reveals that it will come in 2025. The video was posted on the @blueovalcity account, announcing that Ford is "reinventing the truck." The narration speaks enthusiastically about the capabilities built into the new digital platform that improves with every update.
This sounded so familiar to many people, some saying that without the video, you'd think the transcript refers to the Tesla Cybertruck. To be sure, a blurred image of a pickup truck in the video, which we believe is the upcoming Ford EV, has some Cybertruck vibes. The new truck is described as slick, aerodynamic, and "impossibly quick." It will also feature fast-charging capabilities and a class-leading range, suitable for both work and fun. Ford brags about bi-directional charging capabilities, which the current F-150 Lightning also has.
Until the TE1 platform is ready and the BlueOval City factory starts producing the new trucks, Ford still grapples with quality issues affecting the current F-150 Lightning. The Blue Oval company was forced to cancel dealer orders to sort out unspecified quality issues, abruptly ending MY2023 production. The MY2024 orders will only open in January 2024, likely affecting Ford's production and sales numbers in the fourth quarter.